• 3.43 pm: Only Vettori was able to keep Sehwag under check today. Of the 66 balls he bowled to him, Sehwag scored 30, with three fours. The idea was to bowl on or just outside off-stump. Chris Martin and Hamish Bennett pitched too short or too full too often, and got punished.

    The most punishment was reserved for Jeetan Patel. The Test Match Sofa guys described Patel's challenge to the Indian line-up as being similar to a mosquito trying to eat an elephant. And here's why.

    Sehwag took 45 runs off him in 31 balls. And even Dravid, who'd been struggling with a strike rate under 20, managed to take 33 runs off 42 from Patel, whose First Class bowling average this season is 72. It would be hard for him to make an impression in this series.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

    3.31 pm: Hundred No. 30 for Rahul Dravid. There's been an incredible turnaround for him today. His first 20 took 105 balls. The last 81 have come in just 110.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

    3.20 pm: Sehwag's gone.

    Read More »from Live Blog: Sehwag, Dravid score hundreds on Day 1
  • Just how does one understand Sunil Gavaskar? As a cricketer, he’s a giant among giants, deserving of reverence. But in everything else, he confounds.

    The ex-player slash administrator slash pundit slash commentator slash media personality slash statesman has his fingers in so many cricketing pies, that not for the first time he’s at war with the cause he represents. And this probably won’t be the last time, going by his track record.

    His ongoing payment dispute is an off-shoot of the larger problem of criss-crossing interests inside the BCCI. But for now, let’s dwell on Gavaskar.

    Normally, it’s through his newspaper columns that Gavaskar makes his views, sometimes partisan, known. He’s no fan of one-on-ones; hence when he goes to NDTV to clear the air, you know he has a lot on his mind.

    Long story short, Gavaskar recently stepped down (or was sacked, depending on whose version you believe) from the IPL governing council. It then emerged that while functioning as a member of the

    Read More »from The curious case of Sunil Gavaskar
  • Expectedly, Deepak Chahar is the toast of the town. The teenaged swing bowler with figures of 8-10 on First Class debut had shot out Hyderabad for 21 --- incidentally on VVS Laxman's birthday.

    The team which holds the record for the highest Ranji Trophy score — 944-6 against Andhra in the 1993-94 season — now also holds the record for the lowest.

    However, this astonishing batting collapse wasn't triggered by demons in the wicket. Aakash Chopra, playing this game for Rajasthan, notes that there was assistance for pacers, but not enough for such devastating results.

    Comparing him to such swing experts as Manoj Prabhakar, Praveen Kumar and RP Singh, Aakash says:

    Chahar has a brilliant wrist position that allows him to bowl with the seam upright. Like we say in Delhi, uske haath mein swing hai [his hand has the swing]. The outswingers got the edges, the inswingers got them lbw and bowled.

    A look at the highlight reel suggests Chahar, a lanky 18-year-old, operates around the 130kmph mark,

    Read More »from The making of Deepak Chahar

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